Today I’m proud to share the next Creative Women feature on videographer Kate Jones. Kate is a corporate video producer turned entrepreneur in Des Moines, Iowa. One of the first times I realized Kate had a great visual arts eye was when I saw her at the cutting table at Jo-Ann Fabrics. We were then just acquaintances so we were both very civil and proper towards each other- how things change! Kate was buying foam to redo her porch furniture, and I asked her opinion on which grey fabric I should buy. She said that the one grey was more bluey and the other grey was more yellowy… I honestly couldn’t see it, but I knew then that she was good. A little too good.
I’ve worked with some of the most creative people in Los Angeles, but Kate and her husband Dylan are still two of the most inspiring and creative makers I know. They seem to always know about a cool new company, or seem to always be making something hearty like a hand-sewn leather bike pouch or a letterpress machine. They never do anything halfway, but ruminate on it for maybe years before the execution. One of my favorite pasttimes is perusing Kate’s Pinterest account so that I can take a walk through her brain.
Without further ado, here’s Kate!
Video produced for Youth Standing Strong Des Moines Iowa
Describe where you’re from: I grew up in Eastern Iowa, but my mind was often growing up in books and British movies. 🙂
What was your favorite thing about growing up? The ability to imagine, and get to know other people. I spent a lot of time making stories with my siblings, especially my little brother John, who is nine years younger but like a twin.
Could your family see entrepreneurial or creative potential in you when you were little?
I think so. My parents always encouraged us to question and then find solutions, which created a great environment for entrepreneurial and creative potential. Being homeschooled, I felt very free to explore learning for myself, and to learn in ways that fit my brain. Since I always loved making things, I would often take concepts from school and use them in a personal project. I would use Geometry principles to help me make a model replica of a Roman villa. I would create my own movies using my siblings as actors, editing old-school in-camera on the VHS tape. I “published” comic books and magazines and turned our living room into a cinema, complete with tickets for “purchase”. And I would turn my bedroom into a library, checking books out to my brothers and sister, much to the annoyance of my sister (who shared the room). Unfortunately my business ventures rarely turned lucrative, but I learned. 🙂
What are your favorite hobbies? Right now I’ve fallen into an addiction to politics, but I’ve also grown a love for gardening as well. I have enjoyed making leather accessories for the last several years, and also dabble in letterpressing whenever I can.
My secret superpower is… Oh gracious, not sure! My hands are unable to move completely free from one another, is that a superpower? If not, I suppose my red hair has to have a superpower in it, right?
What are your main passions? I love Jesus, I love His Church (people), and I love His Gospel. That pretty much covers everything, but inside of that, I am passionate about freedom and truth, I love my husband, and am passionate about creativity.
What is the glammest thing you do? I’m pretty boring right now…I suppose go for sunset rides with my dapper husband on our vintage Lambretta scooter? At least that feels very “Roman Holiday” to me, and what’s more glam than acting like Audrey Hepburn?
Are you a farm girl or city girl? What is the farmiest (or most sustainable) thing you do? I am an acreage girl, which is sort of in the middle. Gardening is still very new for me, but creating a garden and yard that uses sustainable watering practices is something my husband and I are working toward.
What do you think about Des Moines? Any favorite spots? I have grown to love Des Moines. For food, I love: La Mie, Eatery A, Thai Flavors, India Star, The Cheese Shop, and The Continental. For nature, I love: Lake Maffitt, The Botanical Gardens, twilight walks in Beaverdale, and any country road south of the city. For city life, I love: The Art Center, Fleur Cinema, Varsity Theater for an old movie, Centro for dinner, Scenic Route Bakery for morning coffee, and Simon Estes Ampitheater in the summer.
If you could live anywhere, where would you go? Outside of the US, probably England or Ireland. I adore those countries. Inside the US, a hilly 10-acre section of land (with a creek on it) fairly close to Des Moines but with a country view. In my travels, I have come to feel Iowa is actually an amazing place to live.
What are your next travel plans? My husband and I just returned from a delightful vacation on Lake Superior. We visited Duluth first, and then camped north at Gooseberry Falls. An absolutely breath-taking part of the world.
What are your favorite things about your significant other? I love his heart, his soul, and his personality. He loves Jesus also, so we can fellowship spiritually together and that has formed the foundation of our relationship. He’s a Maker too, and I love the way he creates and sees the world. He challenges me, balances me out, and helps me expand since he has a quiet personality and different strengths than I do. He’s hilarious (especially when he does Trump impersonations), and loves film, music, and modern design. And he’s meltingly handsome, which is nice. 😉
How did you get into starting your company? Jack & Jane Studio began as an idea my brother John and I would toss around. We wanted to make films that helped our community and wasn’t just about making money. I had been feeling a loss of creative joy at the company I was working for, so Jack & Jane grew out of a passion to return to the freedom of creativity, and a desire to let it bless others.
What are some major setbacks that you’d care to share so we don’t make the same mistake? First, choose your clients well. I chose a project with a client I had no information about, and it turned out to be a very stressful experience. Second, choose projects you can get behind. In my field — filmmaking — it’s exhausting work, and requires passion to deliver an emotionally honest story. Films can be made just for money, but the stories told when your heart is involved are far stronger, and far better. Third, be honest about your limitations. Don’t try to sell the moon, be confident about what you can provide and let them know exactly what you are capable of. That way, clients will be happier and you will be less stressed.
Is there a job or something that helped prepare you for running your business? I was an Art Director for 9.5 years prior to starting my business. For about 7 years, I was thrown into making corporate films, and had to learn everything the hard way. I was responsible for all elements of video production, and built up a lucrative video department at that company. Those years profoundly helped me prepare for starting a business.
What is a profit stealer or time suck that you did not expect in your business? Editing is definitely time-sucking for me. I often want to get it just right, and my computer is not always fast enough for my liking. Also, I’d say finding music definitely consumes hours of time.